During almost three hours of oral arguments Feb. 21, the U.S. Supreme Court discussed for the first time a case that questions Section 230 protections. The case looks at the liability of social media platforms and search engines regarding speech hosted on their sites, and if recommendation algorithms could be responsible for aiding terrorist activity.
A professor at a public university in Michigan was suspended with pay after posting a profanity-laced video to his incoming students. Professor Barry Mehler, a history professor at Ferris State University, posted the 14-minute long video that begins with him wearing an astronaut helmet over a face mask, and tells his students they are “vectors of disease,” and that “it is dangerous to breathe the air.”
On December 1st, a federal court in Texas issued a preliminary injunction against Texas’ social media law, HB 20, for violating platforms’ First Amendment right to moderate the third-party content they disseminate. "HB 20 prohibits virtually all content moderation, the very tool that social media platforms employ to make their platforms safe, useful, and enjoyable for users," U.S. District Court Judge Robert Pitman wrote.
Two Internet trade associations are suing Texas and its Attorney General Ken Paxton over a recent law that regulates social media companies’ ability to remove users from their platforms. Filed on September 22nd in the U.S. District Court for the District of Texas Austin Division, NetChoice and Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), which represent Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and others, contend that House Bill 20 violates the First Amendment.
Twitter, Facebook, and a host of other privately-held companies have imposed bans on President Donald J. Trump, believing that his incendiary comments on January 6, 2021, helped fan the flames of outrage that resulted in an assault on the Capitol. Trump and others have decried the social media blackout as a direct assault on conservative points of view, and as a draconian targeting of only certain types of speech.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit dismissed a lawsuit filed against YouTube and its parent company, Google, for alleged First Amendment violations. Prager University (PragerU), a nonprofit educational and media organization that espouses right-wing views, sued YouTube in October 2017 after the company either restricted or removed third-party ads on some of its videos.
For an in depth examination of First Amendment Auditors and the right to film in public, click on the […]
YouTube announced that it’s banning extremist videos that promote white supremacy, neo-Nazi ideology, and conspiracy theories. In a blog post, YouTube said its new policy would ban “videos alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion.” The changes to YouTube’s hate speech policy comes after it was criticized for refusing to ban videos of a right-wing content creator, Steve Crowder, who’d been harassing a Vox journalist Carlos Maza, by repeatedly using racist and homophobic language in his videos.